Freezing bank account, raid only on discovery of evasion: KCCI

KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has recommended that harsh measures of freezing bank account and raid should only be undertaken on discovery of massive tax evasion.

A delegation of KCCI held discussions on Budget Proposals for Federal Budget 2019-2020 with Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Jehanzaib Khan and his team at a meeting held at FBR House in Islamabad on Thursday.

The KCCI team suggested that such harsh actions will only be taken in case of when evasion of very large amount is detected and only when concrete evidence is available rather than carrying out random raids on business entities.

KCCI’s delegation, which was led by Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, comprised of Vice Chairmen BMG Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, General Secretary BMG AQ Khalil, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda and Former Senior Vice President Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi while Dr. Hamid Ateeq Sarwar Member (Inland Revenue Policy), Muhammad Javed Ghani Member (Customs Policy) and Chief of Income Tax, Chief of Sales Tax and Chief of Excise Duty and others were also present at the meeting.

During the meeting, consensus was developed on various major issues and the FBR officials, while agreeing to most of KCCI’s budget proposals, assured to implement the same in the upcoming budget.

The FBR Officials, while responding to KCCI’s proposal, agreed to rationalize the tax structure for import of raw materials by commercial importers and manufacturers.

They also committed to review and curtail the discretionary powers vested to the officials of Inland Revenue which are a source of harassment and extortion of business and industrial community.

KCCI delegation highlighted all major issues including issues pertaining to the Income Tax, Sales Tax and discretionary powers along with concessions & exemptions in various sectors of the economy which have resulted in the distortion of the tax regime.

In his remarks, Chairman BMG & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli pointed out that the current tax regime, relevant laws and discretionary powers were being used to harass the business and industrial community and were hindering economic and industrial growth.

“These laws have to be reformed in order to create a conducive environment for growth and liberalization of trade and also for the revival of economic activities”, he added.

On the occasion, a comprehensive presentation was also given to the FBR team in which major taxation issues were highlighted and remedial steps were also given for ease of doing business and enhanced revenue generation.

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